Farm staff and guests took part in the Tiptree Strawberry Race on Thursday morning to find the fastest and the best picker of the tiny Little Scarlet strawberries. At first there seemed very few strawberries as they were hidden under the lush green leaves as it was only the first pick of the season. However, experience was rewarded when Nicolae Petrechivta retained his crown from 2019 and he was awarded the Fastest Picker trophy with a pick of 4.8 kilos, closely followed by runner up Marian Tiuga who gathered 4.04 kilos in just under one hour. Announcing the winner Chris Newenham commented that Nicolae will be only the second person to have his name on the shield twice – the first being local man Michael Weller who won the Tiptree Strawberry Race in year one and two.
The theme was “crowns” reflecting the coronation year and many of the teams and individuals created amazing versions of a crown some enhanced with flowing capes. Walter Scott, chairman of Wilkin & Sons, thanked everyone for coming: “Welcome to the Tiptree Strawberry Race, the first since 2019. It is a fantastic event reminiscent of cheese rolling in another part of the country!”
Funds raised from the race will be donated to Farleigh Hospice who have offered support and care to many people in the Tiptree area; Debbie de Boltz fundraising manager Farleigh Hospice was amazed by the pickers’ success she said: “Well done and thank you. The number of people in our local community needing our care continues to grow and we know will continue to grow in the future. It is thanks to people in the community, like you, who support us that we are able to continue delivering our services completely free of charge. Thank you and well done.”
The picked strawberries were taken from the field straight to the chiller and will then be made into Little Scarlet Strawberry Conserve that travels from Tiptree to all parts of the world.
Best dressed team - visitors – M M Wealth
Best dressed team – home – Tiptree factory number 1 team
Best dressed runners up – Patrick and Gillian Rogers – home made crowns
Best dressed winner – Noleen Hanson
Fastest team – visitors – Birkett Long with 5.58 kilos (from 4 pickers)
Fastest team – home – Thursday Cottage 7.2 kilos (from 4 pickers)
Fastest picker – runner up – Marian Tiuga (Romania) 4.04 kilo
Fastest picker - Nicolae Petrechivta (Romania) 4.8 kilo